i should be mopping the floor: September 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Glazed Caramel Apple Cookies

These Glazed Caramel Apple Cookies are a mouthful of autumn!
Glazed Caramel Apple Cookies with Two Icing Options | The perfect fall cookie...either with a praline-like glaze or a cake-like frosting! Delicious.
I'm a big fan of cookies. I'm a big fan of apples, too. But more importantly...cookies. When I set out a couple of weeks ago to make some fallish cookies, it occurred to me that I didn't want to go on pumpkin overload this year (honestly, I have an obsessive personality and can go on overload anything if I'm given carte blanche...pumpkin especially). I mean, I definitely love pumpkin, but I also want to bring in a few more fall flavors into my baking this year. 
But, y'all...I make these pumpkin cookies that I found over on Heather Bullard's blog years ago (although, I think she has removed the link, because I absolutely can't find it anywhere...sniff, sniff) and I really love not only the taste...but also the texture. They're a big fluffy cookie with a luscious frosting that kind of makes my heart skip a beat. And of course...they are all pumpkin-y inside. I wanted to find another fall cookie with that type of texture, but an entirely different flavor. And these Glazed Caramel Apple Cookies are all of that...and more! Check out the recipe below.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Inspiration Monday

Well, hey there, friends! I'm so delighted you stopped by for the party. We've had a glorious weekend of absolutely nothing. Ahhhh...it was heavenly. Hope you've been able to unwind a bit yourself. But, this week, we're gearing up for fun...just like today's party!

This week's features were chosen by Julie from Redhead Can Decorate

Friday, September 25, 2015

Free Autumn Chalkboard Printable

This Free Autumn Chalkboard Printable is the perfect addition to your fall decor.

Free Autumn Chalkboard Printable | Rustic, chalky authenticity | 8x10 | Instant Download
Oh you know...just sittin' here sippin' on a Pumpkin Spice Latte and making fall stuff, y'all. Isn't this time of the year the best? For us, it's the biggest relief from the ridiculously oppressive heat and humidity that has plagued us for months. It means we can actually go outside again. And while the leaves here just turn brown (ha!), it's still pretty glorious (in its own rustic, Texas way). Welcome, Autumn...you've been missed. Grab this free autumn chalkboard printable below...and then throw on your prettiest scarf and boots, y'all. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Skinny Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

This Skinny Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce is perfection over spaghetti squash.
Skinny Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce | A lightened up version of the classic dish made easy in the slow cooker. | Makes a large batch and freezes beautifully.

As a kid, we traveled down to San Antonio one Sunday a month to visit my two elderly aunts. I always loved those trips because it meant a fancy dinner at a restaurant called the Crystal Baking Company (which has been closed for a while now, sniff). They had white linen table cloths, carousel horses hanging from the ceiling, and the most glorious menu I had ever seen. I would always order the Bolognese Sauce, which they served over a fatter noodle called tagliatelle pasta. It. Was. Awesome. I always swore when I was older that I'd learn to make Bolognese Sauce myself.
My late uncle was a talented pastry chef for another San Antonio restaurant in the early 1900s...but he knew his way around some amazing savory dishes, too. The traditional Bolognese Sauce recipe that I found in his personal recipe box calls for 1/2 cow, preferably already processed. It also makes enough to feed an army...literally. He did some cooking for that restaurant, too...so the quantities are interesting, to say the least.
These days, I rarely have time to process 1/2 of a cow myself, y'all. I mean, what with work and family stuff and blogging and all. Ahem. Let me be frank. Never in my entire life have I processed any portion of a cow. The most trouble I go through is tearing off the cellophane from the ground beef's styrofoam tray. Times have changed, no?
But just because our lives are more hectic doesn't mean we can't still enjoy an amazingly delicious dinner...even, dare I say it, on a weeknight. Check out this Skinny Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce below...and how I serve it over spaghetti squash for total guilt-free deliciousness. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Glazed Pumpkin Pull Apart Rolls

These Glazed Pumpkin Pull Apart Rolls are a cross between a croissant, a muffin, and a doughnut. And they're absolutely fantastic, y'all. I mean, wow.

Glazed Pumpkin Pull Apart Rolls | These are EASY to make with canned crescent roll dough! Tastes amazing!
A couple of weeks ago, the checkout line at the big box home improvement store was backed all the wait up into the paint section. I happened to spot a magazine about baking that seemed out of place in that type of store. So, of course I grabbed it and poured over it for the twenty minutes I had to stand in that line...while my mums were a-wilting, y'all.
The magazine was called Fall Baking...and of course, after bonding with it for twenty minutes, I couldn't not take it home with me (its feelings would've been hurt). 
I kept looking at the Cranberry-Pistachio Rolls and wondering how I could make them all fallish and pumpkin-y (I deem Cranberry and Pistachio combos to Christmas with the red and green colors. Sorry, Fall Baking, it's just who I am.)
So, after a lot of tweaking, the only things I actually kept from the original recipe were the crescent roll sheets and butter. Everything else kind of came together on a whim. I was actually pretty proud of myself. And, y'all...these are unreal. My husband came home that day and picked one up to taste...I got an immediate eyebrow raise and "Oh, wow!" out of him over these. And he's not even a sweet eater. So, these are definitely winners and will be made all the ding dang time from here on out. Check out the recipe below (made super easy with canned crescent roll sheets). 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Inspiration Monday

Welcome, welcome! I'm so happy you're here. We've had a very warm weekend here in Texas...hoping fall decides to come and see us soon! I did get lots of baking done this week, though...so even if it doesn't feel like fall, it sure tastes like it!

This week's features were chosen by Leigh Anne at Your Homebased Mom
We love all the ideas that you so generously share!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Black, White, and Metallic Fall Banner

I'm a little fall banner crazy lately. But this black, white, and metallic fall banner is now my absolute fave. I think I may hang one errrrrr'where, y'all.

Free Printable Black, White, and Metallic Fall Banner | Download includes separate page of just metallic pumpkins, too.
I'm not an orange person. I try to be. But let's face it, the love just isn't there. It kind of kills me when people call my washer and dryer orange...they're red...the color of awesome. Even outside of fall and Halloween, I know orange is uber popular right now. I'm that one person sitting out waiting for this trend to pass. So, I created this banner after seeing a non-orange pumpkin that I fell in love with. It inspired some black, white, and metallic fall decor 'round these parts, y'all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ham and Cheese Bombs

These Ham and Cheese Bombs are, well...the bomb, y'all.
I'm hanging out with my friends at Rhodes Bake-N-Serv today. 
Stop by to check out this AMAZING recipe...only three ingredients!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tuna Mac Muffins

These Tuna Mac Muffins are a great way to add some protein (and fun!) to your kid's lunch box.
Tuna Mac Muffins: Four-Ingredient Recipe that's PERFECT for Lunch Boxes
A few months back, I posted my lunch box-friendly recipe for ham & mac muffins (you can find it in the sidebar). Everyone loved them and we have certainly continued to love them in our home. I got to thinking about what other kinds of goodies would go well in macaroni and cheese muffins...then a childhood fave came to mind! Tuna mac is where it's at, man. My mom never made Tuna Mac, but the sweet lady who lived across the street from us always did. And I loved having dinner over at her house. These little bite-sized versions of the classic casserole are every bit as yummy. Check out the easy recipe below.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Back to School Cleaning Routines and Free Printable Chore Chart

Now that the kids are off and running, our back to school cleaning routines are starting to take shape. I've also got a fun, fall-colored free printable chore chart for you to download below.
Back to School Cleaning Routines and Free Printable Chore Chart
I don't know about you guys, but my house takes a beating over the lazy, hazy, crazy days. With kids home, and swimming, and playing...things get dirty. But on the flip side of that, they are home to help with clean up. Now that school is back in session, we're working on our back to school cleaning routines so everything can run smoothly again and the house can stay a bit tidier.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Inspiration Monday

Hey, friends!! How's your weekend going? We've been planting and working in the yard like crazy...even got a few mums in pots! That means it's fall, right? I hope you've had a fabulously fallish weekend, too! So glad you're here to party with us!

This week's features were chosen by Jamie from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom.
The creativity that everyone shares each week is amazing!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Free Printable Chalkboard Pumpkin Banner

We're rounding the corner to glorious fall, y'all! Grab your free printable Chalkboard Pumpkin Banner for your seasonal decor. Make it as long as you need it to be.

Free Printable Chalkboard Pumpkin Banner
Y'all. Yesterday in the Walmarts, the pumpkins were out. And mums, too. While I know many of the fall purists out there are shaking fingers saying, "not quite yet, sister," down here in the super south...we're just completely over this whole summer thing at this point. I mean, up until August, I'm fine. And I know I chose to live in Texas (well, just never left is more like it, I suppose), but the oppressive heat starts to mess with me after months of it. There's always a change in mood in our area when that first cool breeze makes its way into town (it's not only reflected in real life, but in my Facebook feed, too...people get ELATED when those temps start to fall). That's all I'm wanting right now: dropping temps...and pumpkins. This banner is perfect for all of your autumnal fun. Download yours below.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ten Amazing Fall Diffuser Recipes

Ahh, fall...it's *almost* here. My favorite are the amazing scents associated with the season. Check out my Ten Amazing Fall Diffuser Recipes that capture the feeling of this time of the year perfectly. They're an awesome, chemical-free way to bring your home straight into autumn.

Ten Amazing Fall Diffuser Recipes | Ten fabulous essential oil combinations that capture the essence of the season.
I just love diffusing...it's so uplifting and can support so many things. We've been oily for well over a year and we run our diffusers all day and all night (sleeping like babies, I tell ya). While I often diffuse to help support our sleep habits or immune systems (once a germaphobe, always a germaphobe), it's nice to diffuse to help support good moods and great days, too, no? These familiar (and some unfamiliar) combinations below are warm, spicy oils to diffuse in your house in the cooler months. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Glazed Apple and Walnut Bread

This Glazed Apple and Walnut Bread is a mouthful of fall in every bite.

Glazed Apple and Walnut Bread | A moist and rich sweet bread that tastes just like autumn!
Since today is that whole "unofficial first day of fall" thing, I wanted to kick it off with a bang. And...gulp, something non-pumpkin. I love pumpkin, but this year, I'm doing just a slight bit less of it and trying to add lots of apples and spices, too. 

While down here in Texas, it still feels like swimmin' pool weather, the only thing fall I'm able to really dive into is food. No sweaters or fun boots for us, yet...those will come out around November...if we're lucky. And I have yet to see a mum ready to be planted at the garden center. Just the same ol' 98 degree days we've been having for months now. Bleh.

But this bread certainly turned my lack-of-autumn frown upside down, y'all. I made it over the weekend for our Bible class and it went over great...'errrryone loved it. It was a combination of my favorite sweet bread recipe and my late Aunt Helen's Apple Cake. Check out the recipe below.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Inspiration Monday

Are you able to enjoy a nice, long weekend? We're enjoying one here...pulled out the fall decor and am in total pumpkin mode, y'all! What are you up to? If you're needing a fun fall project, you're sure to find plenty at the party today! So happy you're here to party with us!
inspiration monday in party image

Tex-Mex Huevos en Papas

This recipe and post has been sponsored by Lone Star Eggs. All opinions are my own.

These Tex-Mex Huevos en Papas are my kind of comfort...Texas comfort food, y'all.

Tex-Mex Huevos en Papas | A simple egg and potato dish with lots of flavor and deliciousness.
This recipe was inspired by my absolutely favorite Tex-Mex restaurant out in Abilene, Texas. I went to college in Abilene, met my husband there, and worked there for awhile, too. That part of Texas holds a special place in my heart. Central Texas will always be home (once an Austinite, always...). But living in west Texas, as well as the panhandle, gave me an entirely new appreciation for this great state of ours.  

Friday, September 4, 2015

Free Printable Home Organization Labels

These free printable home organization labels are perfect for home storage of any kind.

Free Printable Home Organization Labels | Download and use with word processing software or write on with permanent markers. Perfect for toy storage, pantry storage, and so much more.
Now that my peeps are in school, the trash bags have come out in full force. Just kidding. Kind of. But I do tend to do a little fall organization (when nobody is around to protest the throwing out of junkity-junk). I'm adding labels to toy bins, too...which my kids actually love. You can print these out for your own home organization projects below. They're not just for toys!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Layered Paint Mason Jars

These Layered Paint Mason Jars are the perfect way to add a bit of vintage fun to your decor. I did mine in fall colors, but the possibilities are endless!
These Layered Paint Mason Jars are the perfect way to add a bit of vintage fun to your decor. These are in fall colors, but the possibilities are endless!
Do you love the look of painted mason jars? I thought it would be fun to see if I could actually apply layers of paint to my jars, and then strategically take it off for a vintage and shabby look. Layered Paint Mason Jars are the perfect way to add a little color and texture to any space in your home. Check out the tutorial below>>>

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mexican Chicken Spaghetti

This Mexican Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is comfort food at its finest.

Mexican Chicken Spaghetti: a Tex-Mex twist on the classic southern casserole.
As many of you are aware, for the past two years, I've worked really hard at renewed health, weight loss, and just overall wellness. I'm still on that journey and will be for the rest of my life. But honestly...I need to be totally real and truthful and up front with you guys. Sometimes, I set aside the uber healthy, sprouted, grain-fed, organic, blah blah blah stuff and just want to make a good, old-fashioned mama casserole ('nawwhatImean?).

And while I'm truly not all of those afore mentioned things (I mean uber health..really? me?), I try very hard to lead a *somewhat* "clean" (ish) lifestyle. 

But again, this post is anything but clean. It's a cheesy, cream-soupy, canned chicken (yes...canned chicken) southern mess of deliciousness at its finest. 

I make this casserole once a year...the night before my husband's birthday. He loves it more than I do. Check out the recipe below.